A showdown between the Internet’s foremost giants, Google vs. Facebook, who are both vying to dominate the Web – and setting-up stumbling blocks for one another in the process – has intensified this past week. Google has initiated a move that will disable Web services, such as Facebook, from automatically importing its users’ email contact list into their platform.
This feature enabled users to readily send out friend requests to Gmail contacts who were already using the social network service. and their IT services.
Google’s Grievances and Proposition
Google accused the social media service of siphoning up Google’s contact data to the social media service, without allowing for a similar import and export of Facebook users’ information to Google’s products.
The current structure of not mutually exchanging access to their contact’s API was unsustainable and ‘left users in a data dead-end,” according to Google’s statement on the move.
Google, however, did not take the option of freely exchanging information with the second-most-visited website in the world off the table, but it came with a condition. Google stipulated that if Facebook wanted to have access to rich data, it would have to share their users’ information with Google. In other words, the information would have to flow both ways and a free-flowing dialogue of sorts would replace the current structure.
Google’s Motive: Why Pinpoint Facebook
Despite advocating and championing open-source along multiple lines, Google has also demonstrated high-degrees of secretiveness, such as religiously guarding their search algorithm architecture. The latest chapter signifies Google’s attempt to hamstring Facebook and force it to contribute to Google’s true mission: to collect as much information as possible.
Beneath this veneer, however, lies Google’s real intent to undercut Facebook’s dominance in the social media realm and drive a wedge into the bipolar power dynamic that has emerged on the Internet. Google has tried to compete with Facebook on a few product fronts, but thy have been largely unsuccessful:
Google-Operated Orkut has failed to seriously contend with Facebook, registering an estimated 100 million users, five times less than Facebook;
Google Buzz never really gained social media steam, constantly playing second-fiddle to the more widely popular Twitter.
Google’s attempt to organically create social media tools has so far been unimpressive, and their latest moves suggest that they are planning to trip Facebook any way they can until they can create a “Facebook killer.” The question is, can they?
Facebook’s Turn: Creating a Gmail-Killer
Facebook is widely rumored to unveil “Project Titan,” a full-fledged webmail client that is internally being referred to as a “Gmail killer.” Facebook is holding a high profile event on Monday at the St. Regis Yerba Buena Terrace, where it is expected they will make the big announcement. Facebook’s proposed email project will seamlessly integrate with Facebook’s mainstay product, Facebook.com, and they will utilize the sensitive data of each individual user and structure the email around user’s identity information, according to TechCrunch.com.
Is Facebook a Threat to Google
The idea itself was unthinkable just a while ago: but could Facebook and the social media outlets out-Google Google? In essence, can Facebook put together collect and store more valuable data, and have more search entries – on sites like Facebook and Twitter which have search capabilities – than Google? This idea is not so foreign and unthinkable anymore. Recent statistics published by Experian Hitwise – shown in a graph format – show telling statistics:
If this trend continues, social media leaders like Facebook and Twitter will not only overtake and cut into Google’s bread and butter, but they can make potentially make Google an obsolete paradigm.
The competition is mounting between the Web’s two largest destinations, Google vs. Facebook. Google has decided to no longer allow Facebook from accessing its’ users information, which greatly inconveniences Facebook users from finding out which of their contacts uses the social media service. This new chapter is the latest in a string of back-to-forth moves meant to undermine one another.
Google has set up a conditional information-sharing structure with external web services that is predicated on a very simple philosophy: if you share your data with us, we’ll share ours with you. While the move was a sweeping aim at all Web services, it was specifically meant to compromise and hamstring Facebook’s ability to gain access to valuable information. What is the strategic standpoint for Google’s moves? We’ll explain.